The mold fabrication process was similar to that previously reported (18). Briefly, device structures were designed using Solidworks (Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation), and the patterns were transferred onto a transparency mask using high-resolution printing (FineLine Imaging). Silicon wafers were then fabricated by photolithography using typical SU-8 photoresist techniques. All the mold surfaces were treated with (tridecafluoro-1,1,2,2-tetrahydrooctyl)-1-trichlorosilane for at least 2 hours. For the main microfluidic section, PDMS and curing reagents (Ellsworth Adhesives) were mixed in a 10:1 ratio, poured into the SU-8 mold, and cured at 80°C for at least 6 hours. The pillar head was then attached to the base of the pillar. The pillar head consisted of 250 μm by 250 μm squares of 25-μm-thin PDMS (obtained by spin coating onto a 10-cm petri dish lid for 30 s at 5000 rpm). The pillar heads were manually positioned over the pillar and glued with uncured PDMS. Using this PDMS mold, a negative mold was fabricated using Smooth-Cast 300, and PDMS was then poured into the mold and cured for 6 hours. Devices were then cut off the mold and trimmed to the appropriate size, and gel filling ports, a vacuum port, and medium ports/reservoirs were formed with 1-, 2-, and 6-mm-diameter biopsy punches, respectively. The devices were then sterilized by wet autoclaving, followed by dry autoclaving. After drying completely, no. 1 glass was bonded using oxygen plasma.

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